During the past month, OCUUC children and youth planted succulents on our church grounds, took a walking field trip to the park to learn Quidditch, had the opportunity to handle and learn about several types of reptiles and amphibians during a presentation by Jurassic Parties, and learned some self defense techniques thanks to volunteers from Karate for All. It’s been wonderful to have so many people from our church and larger community making a difference for our kids, and we have been able to keep a strong focus on our UU values throughout. We’ll be finishing off the summer with a musical Sunday led by some of our talented OCUUC musicians (big thanks to Director of Music Ministries Beth Syverson for making that happen), learning about tarot from an OCUUC member, a chance to create some art, and an end-of-term feast. My hope is that this wonderful community we’ve built over the summer will continue to bloom as we separate into age-specific groups and begin our church-year curricula on October 16th. Watching our children and youth form relationships with their peers at church is one of the most satisfying parts of my job.
As is even more common in the summer months, we’ve had many families with children visiting our congregation lately. I’ve found this has been a good opportunity to talk to our children and youth about how to be welcoming to newcomers at church (and elsewhere). We have some of the most empathetic and generous kids around in our program, but everyone can use a little reminder sometimes that it's fun to make new friends, try new things, and be open to new ideas. I encourage all of us adults to spend some time this month thinking about how we might do the same. Do you know a family that you think might love it here as much as you do? We're always ready for newcomers, so send them our way!
Karen Magoon Pearson